Kurds Hold Silent Protest March Near the Vatican
Several dozen Kurds led a silent protest march near the Vatican on Monday, demanding "peace for the Kurdish people."
The protesters, who had come from several European countries, marched towards the Vatican but were kept from reaching Saint Peter's Square by the tight security in place for the Jubilee celebrations.
"May the birth of Jesus bring peace to the Kurdish people," said one placard displayed next to a photo of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Ocalan, head of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was sentenced to death by a Turkish court in June 1999 for treason and separatism under the terms of a Turkish law covering "terrorist" acts.
Between November 1998 and January 1999, Ocalan sought political asylum in Italy, sparking a diplomatic row between Ankara and Rome.
The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear an appeal made by Ocalan against the death sentence handed down against him.
A panel of judges said the court would hear Ocalan's complaint that he had not received a fair trial in Turkey and that his right to life, freedom of expression, religion and other rights had been violated -- ROME (AFP)
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